Hi Kayla! Here for February's RvG!
Eeee I'm so excited about this story. You knew that I was really looking forward to reading it, but I'm still kind of overwhelmed by the fact that you liked Rush of Blood enough that you wanted to write a sequel to it - it's one of the biggest compliments (and yay for collaboration!).
The opening of this piece was so perfect, and I really liked the way that you captured Sanguini's perspective on the war that was taking hold of the wizarding world. Whenever I think of the generations who lived through both world wars, I can't help but think of how terrifying it must have been for them to know what was coming the second time, to see humanity preparing to tear itself apart again - and I think there's a definite sense of that here, in the way that Sanguini thinks of war. He's lived for so long that he's seen so much conflict and even though he thinks he's used to its futility, he's surprised by it again on this occasion.
The imagery in that opening paragraph was wonderful, too - the picture of the puppets dancing in Ares's palm and sacrificing themselves at his altar. That was so evocative and really brought out the brutality and inescapably deadly nature of war. I loved the connections back to the original piece, too, with the way that Sanguini dwelt on George in his uniform and the uselessness of his death.
The contrast then with that more musing, thoughtful opening and the worry that grips Sanguini when he realises that Eldred could become a target for the Death Eaters is tangible, and really effective. He can accept the nature of war in theory, separate from humanity as a vampire, but when he's faced with losing someone he loves again - that's not an option that he can tolerate.
You capture the relationship between Eldred and Sanguini perfectly in this - ahhhh. It makes me smile so much to see the two of them together actually living their life (like I could write that without destroying them) and the little terms of endearment they use so casually that tells me so much about the life that they're building together and the relationship that they've settled into. I really loved the fact that they seemed so balanced in this story, Sanguini running for Eldred to a place that's not exactly ideal for him, and then Eldred giving up a place that he loves when it's safe for them to return.
Despite the fact that their escape was overshadowed - driven - by the war and the danger surrounding them, I loved reading the scenes in Costa Rica. The promise that they can build a life anywhere as long as they're together really comes true here (I LOVE the idea of new project that Eldred is working on) and all of the adventures that they enjoyed together were so wonderful and magical. This was just so cute and fluffy (despite the whole escaping in fear of their lives thing) and I loved reading it - thank you for writing it!